Dear Supporters of Peace in the Holy Land,

The Children of Abraham People's Peace awards honoring an Israeli and a Palestinian peace pioneers were held in Las Vegas on March 19, 08, and by all accounts, was a major success.

The Award ceremony which included leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Moslem communities in Las Vegas was chaired by US Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV)  who presented the People's Peace Awards to Dr. Gershon Baskin, an Israeli from Jerusalem and Mr. Hanna Siniora - A Palestinian, from Jerusalem.

US Senate Majority Leader, Sen.Harry Reid (D-NV) sent a representative who read a letter from Senator Reid praising the efforts for peace in the Middle East and commending  Dr. S.E.Elia - Founder and President of the Children of Abraham Coalition for organizing the People's Peace Awards and congratulating the winners. ( Copy of Sen. H. Reid's Letter attached)

Both award winners who are Co-CEO's of IPCRI ( Israeli Palestinian Center for Research & Information) have devoted the last 2 decades of their lives to peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. This is despite living in Jerusalem, which has witnessed untold violence in the past half a century. Their belief is that peace is not an option, it is the only solution. This was echoed by Dr. Elia in his opening remarks by stressing that there are no winners in war and that there are no losers in peace.

The success of the peace Awards was due in large measure to the participation & support by all the major religious and ethnic communities in Las Vegas which included the Arab American Community, The  Jewish American Community, The Asian American Community and the Latino Community. Speakers at the Peace Awards event included Ms. Karen Boyett - Executive Director of the Interfaith Council in Southern Nevada, Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, Rabbi Y. Mintz of the Valley Outreach Synagogue, Dr.Martha Poling-Goldenne, Pastor of the New Song Lutheran Church, Anthem, and Rabbi S. Akselrad of the Ner Tamid Congregation in Henderson, NV. In addition to the religious leaders, a presentation  was made by Mr. Matt Taha on behalf of the Palestinian community.

The words of the religious leaders who spoke of their hope and prayers for peace in the Holy Land was most moving. The remarks presented by US Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV), who chaired this unique event, expressed eloquently her strong  commitment & support for peace in the Holy Land. As an expression of appreciation of the efforts  by Dr. S. E. Elia, the Founder & President of the Children of Abraham Coalition, for a peaceful resolution in the Holy  Land, US Congresswoman  Shelley Berkley(D-NV) presented  Dr. Elia with  a certificate of  US Congressional Recognition. (Attached)

Due to the  success of the first ever peace awards, at the people's level, between Israelis and Palestinians, the Children of Abraham coalition hopes to expand these peace awards to include community peace activists & political leaders next year.

For the Children of Abraham Coalition
K. Castanon
Communications Director